OVERALL MARKET Real estate in Jackson Hole marks continued improvements in all segments of the market. The 3rd quarter of this year may just be the strongest market Jackson Hole has seen since the recovery from the housing crisis began in late 2011. When compared to 3rd quarter of last year, the overall number of sales was up about 40% this quarter. We anticipate the 4th quarter to continue improving based on the number of properties currently under contract. During August, 32 properties went under contract and an astounding 56 properties went under contract in September. With increased sales and decreasing inventory, the law of supply and demand will affect pricing in some segments of the market. As of the end of the 3rd quarter, the number of active listings was down about 17% when compared to last year. The continual decrease in inventory and a steady demand could mean prices will be on the rise, albeit a steady, healthy rise. This is already evidenced by the higher listing prices seen on properties which have previously been taken off the market and are now returning for sale at higher prices.
SINGLE FAMILY MARKET The single family segment of the market had a great 3rd quarter with the total number of sales up about 46% over the same time period last year. Nearly every area of the valley experienced an increase in number of sales. As is typical, the bulk of the single family sales occurred in the Town of Jackson and South of Jackson areas with 51 and 49 sales, respectively. You can expect the single family segment of the market to have many more sales before the end of the year evidenced by the 37 homes currently under contract. Appreciation is not quantitatively evident yet, however, the demand for single family homes remains strong throughout the valley among locals and second home buyers. Conversely, the amount of homes available for sale is down over 20% meaning higher sale prices are likely in the future. The mid-level of the Jackson market saw reduced momentum through the summer season with only 20% of the active inventory selling between $2-$6 million and another 5% under contract. Also of note this quarter is the sale of two homes both originally listed for over $30 million which represent record sale prices for single family residences in the Teton region.
CONDOMINIUM/TOWNHOME MARKET Perhaps the most rapidly recovering segment of the market, condominiums and townhomes are transitioning from the most depressed segment of the market to the most improved. Compared to the same time period last year, the number of condo and townhome sales rose about 40%. Even more rousing is the nearly 50% increase in dollar volume. The previously depressed segment gave way to tremendous values brought buyers rushing to take advantage of rock bottom prices. As the market has returned to a place of stability, buyers have been competing in bidding wars. Consequently, the percent of list price paid by buyers has increased about 3% meaning, on average, a buyer will pay about 96% of the asking price. In fact, a quality condo or townhome with a good location will often sell over list price due to the amount of competing offers. As with all other segments of the market, inventory is down significantly over last year with an approximately 30% decrease in the number of active listings available.
VACANT LAND MARKET Since the start of the recovery of Jackson Hole’s real estate market the vacant land segment has shown the slowest improvement compared to other segments. There are many factors that can account for this, but primarily this has been attributed to the oversupply of existing home inventory and the relative lack of distress among land sellers. Nonetheless, each quarter has demonstrated an improvement over the last with the number of land sales sturdy with a nearly 30% increase over the same time period last year. You can expect the vacant land market to finish the year with even more improvement evidenced by the 19 properties currently under contract. As the existing home market tightens and prices begin to rise, more consumers will be drawn to the vacant land segment where they can build a custom home to suit as well as the renewal of speculative building.
IN SUMMARY Throughout the course of 2013, we have continued to see healthy, sustainable improvement throughout the Jackson real estate market. While we anticipate that reduced supply and healthy demand will continue to spur appreciation throughout the market, there remain a steady number of sellers that are motivated to sell their property in 2013. As the market continues its shift more in favor of the seller, we believe that this year will mark the last of the true “opportunity” times for buyers who have waited through the downturn to engage in the Jackson real estate market. Fueled by Wyoming’s unmatched tax benefits, and the overall lifestyle benefits of the Teton Region, we continue our bright outlook for Jackson’s real estate market, both for short-term speculators and long-term investors.